2023 FIBA World Cup: SGA’s historic debut leads Canada to 95-65 win over France

Spinning inside the paint, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander kissed the ball off the glass as it slowly fell inside the basket in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

It was that type of quarter — and really, the entire game — for Gilgeous-Alexander as he led Canada to a 95-65 blowout win over France to kick off their Group H play.

The 25-year-old couldn’t start his World Cup run on a better note, as he finished with 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, 13 rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes. He also went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.

The historic outing made Gilgeous-Alexander the first player in FIBA history to have at least 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in their World Cup debut.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s night coincided with Canada’s, as a slow start saw France create an 18-14 lead following the first quarter. Canada managed to take a close 43-40 lead into halftime that quickly exploded to double digits in the third quarter due to a massive 25-8 scoring advantage led by SGA’s 13 points.

The third-quarter outburst by Gilgeous-Alexander turned this game into a blowout as Canada entered the final frame with a 20-point lead.

The dominating win continues to add ammo to Gilgeous-Alexander’s argument as the best player participating in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Lu Dort struggled a bit with shooting efficiency. In 23 minutes off the bench, he had seven points on 3-of-12 shooting and went 1-of-7 from 3. He also had five rebounds and four fouls.

Let’s look at highlights and instant reactions from Canada’s 30-point win over France.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire